The Superheroes' Employment Agency
The Superheroes' Employment Agency
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Annotation: A volume of humorous poems about a group of oddball B-list superheroes in need of work introduces such haphazard wannabes as Blunder Woman, Muffy the Vampire Sprayer, and the Bulk.
Genre: Poetry
Catalog Number: #5277522
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2012
Illustrator: Jones, Noah
Pages: 39 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-547-43559-2
ISBN 13: 978-0-547-43559-6
Dewey: 811
LCCN: 2011025722
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Need a superhero? Batman out of your budget? Then head on down to the Superheroes Employment Agency, where you can rent the services of such B-listers as Blunder Woman, the Verminator, and Stuporman. Singer introduces each wannabe via a comic poem. For example, Weathergirl's speciality is disrupting tea parties by creating a storm in the teapot: "They're always planning something sinister / against a monarch or prime minister / over cake and cups of tea. / But then they have to deal with me." Singer relates some stories with comic strips or fake advertisements and even finds ways to have two characters meet for transactions of business (or romance). Two four-page "reports" provide longer examples of a superhero's heroism. Take the Pretzel, for instance, who did a nice job tying his foes in knots, even if he did cause a mess: "The truth must be told: / it's the Pretzel's own fault / that our clients' neat home / got so sprinkled with salt." Meanwhile, Jones' exaggerated cartoon interpretations of these bumblers keeps things super-duper silly.
Horn Book
A collection of lighthearted poems reveals a "B-list" of superheroes. Jones's colorful cartoons play up the comedy of the underemployed superheroes, from The Bulk--the Hulk's big and green but incredibly sappy cousin--to brawny but clumsily mismatched conjoined twins Herk and Uleez. While at times the poems strain to scan, overall this is an entertaining package.
Kirkus Reviews
From Blunder Woman to Stuporman, this gallery of underemployed B-list superheroes is up for any task. Got rats and mice? Call on the (inch-high) Verminator! Supernatural foes will flee from the garlic foam wielded by Muffy the Vampire Sprayer. Afflicted by gangsters? "When racketeers insist on quiet / and it's not wise to start a riot, / send the Baby, send the Baby." Furthermore, "And if those cries don't make them hyper, / Weapon Two is in the diaper." Along with having distinct individual powers and abilities, several of these eager job seekers combine to offer enhanced services. Armored Sir Knightly and The Masked Man, both aging veterans, can team up to entertain at children's parties, for instance, and Kelly (ejected from the Green Lantern Corps for wearing a heterodox shade of green) will join silk-spinner Caterpillar to design stylish new costumes for "Trendy Defenders." Using a free range of page designs from sequential panels to full-spread scenes, Jones reflects both the changing rhythms and the overall buoyancy of Singer's rhymes with simply drawn, brightly colored cartoon views of each S.E.A. member in action. When budgets or problems aren't quite right for the likes of Spider-Man or the Dark Knight, here's a reasonably priced alternative. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)
Publishers Weekly
B-list superheroes try to rustle up work in this collection of poems that, unfortunately, isn-t as entertaining as its premise suggests. Readers first hear from disaster-prone Blunder Woman, who -began this agency/ for superheroes just like me:/ outclassed, outranked, unsung,/ standing on the second rung.- Other heroes (several of whom make repeat appearances throughout) include Weathergirl, who literally creates tempests in teapots; the Verminator, an inch-high eradicator of rodents and other pests; and the Bulk, a sentimental giant who drowns villains in his tears. Though the concept has potential, Singer-s (A Stick Is an Excellent Thing) heroes and their accompanying poems come across as flat: -I-m the Bulk. Oh, yes, indeed./ I-m so fond of darling creatures I can cuddle./ I-m the Bulk. Foul friends, take heed/ or you-ll wind up floating in a giant puddle.- Jones (Stuff) delivers comedy with a surer hand, keeping things interesting with a mix of comics-style panels and faux advertisements, but it isn-t enough to enliven this outing. Ages 6-9. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator-s agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, McIntosh & Otis. (July)

School Library Journal
Gr 3&11;5&12; Singer offers up a collection centered around an agency that offers superhero services to anyone in need. Reading like a series of commercial endorsements, the poems introduce the different superheroes and showcase their talents and powers. The characters are diverse and slightly eccentric; these are not the usual suspects, although some pay direct homage to already-existing characters, such as with "Muffy the Vampire Sprayer" and "Blunder Woman." The "Verminator" fights bugs, and "Metamorph," a shape-shifter, takes on the form of bad children and acts nice. Jones's illustrations are humorous and eye-catchingly colorful, with some of the pages appearing like comic-book panels. The CEO of the superhero agency, who supplies the introduction and conclusion to the book, is a woman, a touch that allows for a dose of well-needed female empowerment in the superhero world. Although there is definite kid appeal with the superhero themes and there are some clever moments, the poems themselves, with their somewhat clunky rhyme and inconsistent point of view, are hard to read, and the collection as a whole lacks cohesiveness.&12; Rita Meade, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (6/1/12)
Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (7/1/12)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Horn Book
Word Count: 2,770
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 152232 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: 670L

From Blunder Woman and Muffy the Vampire Sprayer to Stuporman and The Bulk, meet the members of the Superheroes Employment Agency--lovable misfits with oddball powers who make up for their lack of fame with an eagerness to please and a can-do attitude. These humorous, kid-friendly poems are sure to entertain while introducing readers to poetry in a fun, lighthearted, and accessible way. Told in Marilyn Singer's witty verse and Noah Z. Jones's hilarious illustrations, their story will make you laugh and cheer on these champions in their quests for heroic jobs.

Superheroes employment agency
Blunder woman, C.E.O. of the Superheroes Employment Agency
The Verminator
Muffy the vampire sprayer
Clairvoyant's lament
Report: The Pretzel
Weathergirl (A.K.A. Cyclone)
Old school
Send the Baby!
Herk / Uleez
Herman and Cyclone
The Bulk
Clairvoyant and Cajoler
A former member of the Justice League (Kelly)
The Caterpillar
Report: Metamorph
Kelly and the Caterpillar
Not really Batman
Sir Knightly and the Masked Man get a job!
Goodbye from our C.E.O.

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